For 3 years and 20 million, the Baltimore Sun reports. Scratch Huff's name off the Lefty McThump list.
For the hitters, ZiPS predicts significant declines for Freddy and Ronny, a slight decline for Bay, continued stagnation for Wilson and Castillo, slight improvements to near-mediocrity for Nady and Bautista, and improvements for Duffy and McLouth. ZiPS thinks Duffy will raise his game from 2006's .255/.317/.338 to .274/.326/.384 and McLouth will break out from 2006's .233/.293/.385 to .267/.325/.409. So calling either of these an "improvement" is generous.
For the pitchers, ZiPS likes Duke, Gorzelanny, Snell, and Maholm in that order. ZiPS seems to really like Duke, projecting him to pitch 216 IP with a 1.35 WHIP. Both Snell and Maholm are projected to improve from last year (Snell's 1.46 WHIP to 1.38, Maholm's 1.61 to 1.49). ZiPS projects McLeary, Youman, Wasdin, Santos, and Bullington will all outperform Chacon.
While it's painful to see a screen full of numbers predict exactly how the Bucs will lose their 15th year in a row, at least there's no Jeff Reed picture involved.
Or so Gary Gnu reports. This week will probably be quiet. Last January, IIRC, DL started the year with some free-agent signings.
I still predict that Mike Gonzalez gets traded nowhere and the Pirates sign no one of consequence before March 1. I've been wrong before, so use this comment thread to report gnus if you gnot them.
My take on the patience stuff - as DK notes, even Castillo has a good OBP this winter - is this. The pitchers down there must have serious control problems.
Still, this is a guy that I like for 2007, and when I do my first Pirates sudoku for 2007 I hope to find 500 plate appearances within easy reach for him.